UN: China among 5 hardest-hit countries by weather disasters

Climate Change

UN: China among 5 hardest-hit countries by weather disasters

The United Nations said on Monday that 90 percent of disasters are weather-related, and China, along with the U.S., India, the Philippines and Indonesia, recorded the most over the last 20 years. 
The report came a week before nearly 140 world leaders gather in Paris to come up with a climate pact.

The U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disaster (CRED) demonstrated that since the first Climate Change Conference (COP1) in 1995, 606,000 lives have been lost to flooding, landslides and other weather-induced catastrophes, and 4.1 billion people have been injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance.

The report underlines the importance of a new climate change agreement to be reached at the COP21, said UNISDR chief Margareta Wahlstrom.

China reported the second highest number of weather disasters just behind the U.S. Over the last two decades, China has reported an average annual death toll of 4,000, according to official figures released in 2014. In any given year 2.8 million houses collapse and 10 million people have to be relocated.

Beijing has been active in promoting a new climate pact. Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping reassured his French counterpart François Hollande of China’s commitment to dealing with climate change.

In June, China submitted an aggressive plan to the U.N., vowing to slash greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60-65% from 2005 levels by around 2030. It also promised that its carbon dioxide emissions will peak before that time.